TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After itinerant Kaohsiung Mayor and presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) claimed that the responsibility for dealing with Kaohsiung's dengue fever outbreak lies with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Su countered that Han "can't even deal with one mosquito,' much less govern the country.
After begging for funding at Taiwan's Legislative Yuan to contain the outbreak on Monday (June 17), Han returned to Kaohsiung where he spoke about the problem on a TV program set in the Wujia Temple (五甲龍成宮). He claimed that the central government had not provided funds for the prevention and treatment of dengue fever and said that if the city has another epidemic, "it will be on Su's head."
However, the Cabinet countered that Han's government has failed to submit the proper paperwork. DPP Legislator Lee Kun-tse (李昆澤) also pointed out that Kaohsiung already had NT$8.61 million in funds for disease prevention and that on June 1, the Ministry of Health and Welfare had approved an additional NT$10.7 million.
In response to Han's remark about responsibility for containing the disease, Su told reporters while visiting a construction site in Keelung today (June 18):
"The Mayor is in charge, yet I shoulder the responsibility. Is there anything else more ridiculous in the world? The vector mosquitoes are in Kaohsiung, not in the Legislative Yuan. It's not in former Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's area. Did he run to the wrong place again?"
Questioning Han's ability to adequately address the problem while gallivanting around Taiwan on his presidential campaign, Su added:
"Even one mosquito can't be dealt with, and yet he's running around everywhere. He says he wants to govern the country. Isn't this too absurd?"
Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Saturday (June 15) that the dengue fever outbreak in Kaohsiung's Sanmin District has reached 20 victims already this year. This is a significant uptick from the half-dozen cases reported by September of last year.